The experience starts quite well – you are greeted by staff that reminded us of air stewards – and after the obligatory photo is taken, and you have been through the airport-style security, it’s off to the lift that will take you up the first 33 floors. Specially-composed music and video entertains you before you head out and round to the next lift, which takes you up to the 68th floor.
This is where you get your first glimpse of the spectacular 360-degree view of the city below. Special scopes offer an informative detail of the landscape you’re seeing. What we found particularly interesting was the section that allows you to see what the area looked like at different time during history. Really useful if your child is studying the Romans or the Great Fire of London.
However, once we’d done that, my nine-year-old had had enough. So I would definitely recommend that you take advantage of the View from the Shard’s half-term offer, which allows full-paying adults take kids for free. Otherwise you will be paying £18.95 for each of them!
Our next stop on our day out was the Museum of London. It’s a pleasant walk to the museum – across the wibbly wobbly bridge (Millennium Bridge), and past St Paul’s Cathedral (look out for the metal playing platforms at the end of the bridge). Our favourite ‘busker’ who is found on this bridge and up by the South Bank, doesn’t play an instrument – he makes giant balloons from washing up liquid water and a string net – something you could try at home later!
And as an added bonus, my sports-mad son got the opportunity to see the iconic London 2012 cauldron, the centerpiece of the Olympic Games, which is housed in its own special exhibition room at the museum.
The museum hosts a number of fantastic events including Roman Gladiators during the summer and during October half term you can take part in craft events and find out what games children played during World War II. For a special treat how about a sleepover? On October 24 you can become a Victorian detective, learn how Roman armies were drilled and create a large artwork inspired by the Great Fire of London - and them stay in the museum overnight. If you miss that there is a festive sleepover held in December.